Art is a weird thing. The word "art" encompasses an infinity of creation, a world filled with countless stars. Some we aren't even aware of, others burn us with their brightness, while still others flicker quietly in the periphery of our vision.
We've lost some of those bright, shining stars this past month. So many, too many. David Bowie. Not a star--a SUN, a PLANET all to himself. Even if you aren't a rabid Bowie fan (and to be honest, I was not) we all felt something when he left us. It hit me like a punch to the gut. He was so MUCH an Artist (that's right, with a capital "A"). Even though I did not follow him in depth, I was so AWARE of him. I respected him, I respected his vision of art and style and his wholly unique expression of all of it. He embodies my definition of an Icon. I guess it never occurred to me that someone like him, someone so completely "other", so completely a part of American and International art/music culture and history could just....die. Three days after releasing an album on his BIRTHDAY, no less. An album that is now being played around the world on repeat, as we pour over every syllable and note, searching for hidden meaning--searching for what we will interpret as his last will and testament for the world. That alone is fascinating and wonderful. I've listened to Blackstar--to say that it is "dark" is just a fumbling attempt to put an understandable word to work that is beyond simple words. David Bowie wrote and performed according to David Bowie and spoke in his own language. Respect, my friend, and take your place in the universe. He has left behind a hole that will never be filled because no one else can--or ever should--attempt to fill it.
Alan Rickman. DAMN. Again, an artist that I loved without being really conscious that I loved him. Love Actually is my go-to curl up on the couch with a box of wine fall asleep crying movie. His character in that movie was so beautifully, deliciously flawed and sexy and I loved him and Emma Thompson soooo much. Prince of Theives--absurdity at its absolute best. THAT VOICE. He could read the phone book to me and I would sigh in blissful contentment. I loved him before the whole Harry Potter thing and I'm so glad that a billion tweens, an entire GENERATION, now know who he is and are mourning the death of Snape. An artist who specialized in the subtle twists and turns of characters that sucked you in completely. I haven't watched Love Actually this season (I usually watch it around the holidays but just didn't have the time this go round). Now I know that I will have to do a bit of mental prep--there will be more tears this time. That's a good thing--how amazing that art and artists can grab you by the heart...THAT is true magic.
Enough. More have left us, left us breathless with the loss. Play the music, watch the movie, take a few minutes, hours, and spend them marveling at the body of work these glowing stars left for us. When I say that art is a gift--that's literal for me. These artists have given us so many gifts we get to cherish forever. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
For me, these losses bring to the front of my brain a theme I often visit and revisit in my own work--Time. The passage of time, what we do with time, how we must cherish and not fight our place in time. I'm starting a new series of pendants I'm calling Time Travelers. Stones and fossils accented with vintage and antique watch hands. Stones tumbled by time, ancient fossils traveling through time to somehow find their way to me. Two examples here--a river stone and a gorgeous hunk of petrified wood. More to come.
I hope you all will take the time to support artists you love. Tell them that you appreciate the gifts they give through art. Remember how fleeting time is and make the very most of every minute. Revel in ART whenever you can. Wear it, play it, watch it, share it, CREATE IT. A gift meant to be shared!
Now, GO MAKE SOMETHING AMAZING!